The saying in high school football is that defense wins games.
Obviously, in the third week of high school football, offenses also did their part to secure big wins.
Heading into week-3, four “Big-11” teams were undefeated. Three remain unblemished after Friday night’s contests. Those three, Patrick Henry, Lord Botetourt and North Cross outscored their respective opponents 158-28. That’s keeping the scoreboard operator busy, while complimenting things with very good defense.
Here’s the recap of all games, where all “Big-11” squads were in action.
Patrick Henry-28 William Fleming-14
The Patriots improved to 3-0 after jumping out to a 21-7 halftime lead before heldin off the Colonels after the break. Patrick Henry running back Brandon Smith led a dominating PH rushing attack, surpassing 100 yards on the ground, and the PH defense held up their end of the bargain as Patrick Henry won the symbolic Noel C.Taylor Cup for the sixth time in seven years.
Lord Botetourt-77 Bassett-7
Jamie Harless’ Botetourt team remained undefeated by throttling the Bengals in Bassett. The Cavaliers led 63-7 at the halftime break and never looked back. Botetourt went to the air only four times in the game, but it hardly mattered as 10 different Cavalier ball carriers picked up yardage on the ground as the Cavaliers had 461 total rushing yards.
North Cross- 53 Blessed Sacrament-Huguenot-7
You couldn’t blame North Cross head coach Stephen Alexander if he moves every Raider home game to the Salem Spartan Stadium at Salem High School. To be more accommodating to night football this time of year with North Cross not having lights at Thomas Field, North Cross played for the second straight week in Salem, rolling to the 53-7 win over the visitors from Richmond. The Raiders’ 2 wins in Salem have been by a combined score of 103-7. It was a balanced offensive attack for North Cross Friday night, with five scores coming on the ground and three via the passing game led by quarterback Miles Lowman.
Cave Spring-21 Glenvar-0
Cave Spring picked up its first win of the year with the shutout win over the Highlanders at Dwight Bogle Stadium on homecoming night for the Knights. Tailback Ryan Mitchell was the workhorse for Cave Spring, picking up 305 yards on the ground. Cave Spring’s defense rose to the occasion in the third quarter when an interception inside the Knight 7-yard line stopped Glenvar’s bid to close to within one score. Bowling scored on the ensuing Knight possession to ensure the victory. Both teams are now 1-2 on the year.
Salem-20 William Byrd-17 OT
Playing to a 14-14 stalemate in regulation, Salem picked up its first win of the year in overtime. After Byrd settled for a field goal on the first possession of the extra period, Salem responded for the win with a Noah Beckley-to-Riley Fox touchdown pass from the 3-yard line. Byrd head coach Jeff Highfill, who had a stellar career at Salem’s Andrew Lewis High School in the late 60s, saw his Terriers lose their first game of the year on the turf at Robert Patterson Stadium..
Northside-49- Hidden Valley-46
Northside, looking for its first win of the year, jumped out to a commanding 42-21 halftime lead and it was just enough as the Titans’ comeback effort fell short. The two teams combined for nearly 900 total yards, as the Vikings handed Hidden Valley its third straight loss to open the campaign. Titan wide receiver Ryan Mitchell, a Navy recruit, had a stellar night by pulling in 12 catches for 249 yards including three touchdowns.
Roanoke Catholic-48 Fishburne Military-0
Roanoke Catholic led 34-0 after the opening half and was up 48-0 in the third quarter as the Celtics rolled to the win at Vinyard Park. Catholic improved to 2-1 on the season as the Celtic defense swarmed the Caissons, holding the visitors to 107 total yards on offense.